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DUI & the Driver License Compact

Think you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) when you’re out-of-state and your home state will never hear about it? Sorry, but think again. For example, if you live in New York and you’re charged with DUI while visiting Laguna Beach, we can guarantee that the New York Department of Motor Vehicles will hear about it.

How is this possible? Is there some kind of an “arrangement” in between the states where they share information about moving violations? You bet and it’s called the Driver License Compact, an interstate compact where states share information about DUIs, speeding tickets, license suspensions and other traffic violations by non-residents.

Under the Compact, when a non-resident commits a traffic violation, the state the driver was visiting will forward the information to the driver’s home state where he or she is licensed. The them for the Compact is, “One Driver, Once License, One Record.”

How the Compact Treats DUIs

Suppose you live in Arizona and you’re visiting Disneyland in Anaheim. On Friday evening, the night before you’re to visit the “happiest place on Earth,” you decided to check out the local night life. After enjoying a night in the town, you decided to drive back to your hotel. But, on your way there, you were stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). After failing the field sobriety tests miserably, you took a breath test and were ultimately arrested for DUI. So much for your Saturday plans.

How would the California DUI affect your Arizona license? What would Arizona do about it? Since California and Arizona are bout members of the Compact, California would notify Arizona about the DUI. “The home state would treat the offense as if had been committed at home, applying home state laws to the out-of-state offense,” according to the National Center for Interstate Compacts.

If you are being charged with DUI in California but you live in another state, it’s important that you speak with an Orange County DUI attorney from our firm. You will still need to address the DUI case in California, and if you have to go back home, you’ll need someone who can act on your behalf to handle the California case.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., Attorney Landry is a board-certified expert in DUI defense, and she can defend you against out-of-state DUI charges. She can also help you understand how to handle them in your home state. Call now for a FREE consultation!